Barclay: Summer in Upstate NY

PULASKI, NY — As we delve into July, it’s the perfect time for local residents and visitors to take part in the many sights, events and activities in our area. It’s been an honor to represent a district defined by its beautiful landmarks, its welcoming community and its local traditions. We are really fortunate to have such great natural resources, arts and cultural activities and entertainment options right here in Central and Northern New York. It is what makes our area so special and unique. So if you are looking for things to do this summer, you may find exactly what you are looking for right here in your backyard.

One of Oswego’s most popular events is its annual Oswego Harborfest. This year, the 31st annual Harborfest will be held between July 26 and July 29. Founded in 1988, Harborfest has brought hundreds of local and national performing artists to our district and has provided activities and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy, including the world-famous Grucci fireworks display over the Oswego Harbor. For more information on the performers and activities at this year’s event, visit

In addition to Harborfest, Oswego County is bustling with outdoor activities for the entire family. With a variety of lakes and rivers, there are endless opportunities to go boating, kayaking and fishing. For beachgoers, Sandy Island Beach State Park and Selkirk Shores State Park are great places to go swimming. If it is history you are looking for, Oswego County is full of historical landmarks and museums. Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Safe Haven Museum and Education Center, H. Lee White Maritime Museum, John Wells Pratt House Museum and the Starr Clark Tin Shop and Underground Railroad Museum are just a few of the many places to visit. To find out more about what Oswego County has to offer, visit the county tourism’s website at

Onondaga County is also an exciting place to visit during the summer months, as festivals, shows and celebrations are constantly taking place. The Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show, the Great American Antiquefest, and 49th annual rock festival GemWorld are just a few of the countless events to be held this summer.

In the Baldwinsville area, there are many parks, walking trails and waterfront activities to enjoy. Mercer Park recently installed a Kayak Launch and the park has picnic tables, play areas, basketball courts and more to enjoy. Another great spot in Baldwinsville is Beaver Lake Nature Center. With over 400 annual programs and 9 miles of trails, outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of options. Visitors can take guided tours, canoe, birdwatch and more.  On September 8-9th, the nature center will hold its annual Golden Harvest Festival and it is a must do if you are in the area. For those who enjoy music, Paper Mill Island is a regular hot spot for concerts. Thanks to collaboration between Lysander Parks & Recreation, Van Buren Parks & Recreation, the Baldwinsville Public Library and the Village of Baldwinsville, Tuesday nights the concerts are free at Paper Mill Island. The Baldwinsville TuesdayNight Summer Concert Series is family friendly and feature a variety of music.

Venturing further up north to Jefferson County, there are a variety of destinations and events to attend all summer long. In addition to the well-known attractions in the Thousand Island Region, such as Alexandria Bay, there a wonderful places to visit in the southern part of Jefferson County. Southwick Beach State Park is a nice place to camp, hike and go swimming.   For those looking for a more physical test this summer, the Winona State Forest Recreation Area is holding its Deer Fly 5K/10K trail run or walk in August. Aside from the run, the recreation area has ample bike trails and hiking trails to enjoy. If you prefer a quieter adventure, traveling along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and visiting the many historical landmarks, shops, points of interest and small communities can make for an enjoyable afternoon. To download a map, visit

Central and Northern New York have some of the most beautiful parks, waterways and storied history our state has to offer. These things combined with our great people, families and traditions make our district a must-see destination for all.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by email or by calling (315) 598-5185.